Cécile De Gernier after the qualification of the Red Flames against Italy: « We must let the girls play football in Belgium! »
The objective was announced: to qualify for the quarters. The pressure was therefore there before this meeting, but it did not crush the players. Could this game, which the Flames might have lost a few years ago, serve as a trigger in the head?
« We knew that Belgium was capable of beating a team like Italy, a team like Iceland too. It had already happened. The players know what they are capable of, it is not for them that we must speak of a click. On the other hand, it must serve as a click for the Federation, for the supporters, for the general public…: what is important is that we let the girls play football, that we welcome them into clubs, with boys too, and we can tell ourselves that football is a mixed sport that everyone can play. It’s the most popular sport in the world and everyone should be able to play it. that’s what we have to achieve with this team. »
It’s never easy after a match like this, but is there a player or a personality to stand out?
« It has often been said that this team lacks leaders. Here, I find that the best example is Nicky Evrard. She is not maybe not a charismatic leader in the locker room but on the pitch she is impressive. She makes a pretty incredible Euro. No balls for her, everything is going well, especially in her footwork, in her aerial outings, and then the penalties too… I find her very very impressive.
This Euro is therefore not over! See you Friday against Sweden (second in the world rankings behind the USA). Huge piece! What can we expect, and how to prepare until then?
« We have to recover, there were a lot of emotions and we were already talking about the nerve impulses spent against France, here, with the qualification it’s pure adrenaline. So we need recovery, it will be the program this Tuesday. And then Sweden has one more day of rest than us. We will have to see how it will be managed. The Flames are already tired, and we hope that the weather will suit them a little better at the end of the week also here. But there now, there is nothing to lose! We have to play. It’s a knockout match, so also a direct qualification in fact… In a match you never know! It’s going to be complicated, how complicated it was against France. Against Les Bleues we played so as not to take a slap, this time we will have to play to win. We’ll see what happens. »
If it is necessary to finish on ONE word, to describe this evening?
Historical. They wrote history and we must continue to want to do so and to want to put our name on the pages of the great book of football.